The Angoulême comics festival wrapped up over the weekend, with the Grand Prix being presented to Baru, a well-respected French cartoonist whose genre-spanning career is the kind of thing the French do way better than us.
More from the fest:
§ Matthias Wivel for the The Comics Journal:
Today’s program included an appearance by R. Crumb who was here to talk about Genesis to a packed lecture hall at the comics center. Sadly, the interviewer was badly prepared and asked only uninspiring questions that Crumb could evade with his trademark self-irony. Badly informed and prepared interviewers, unfortunately, have long been a problem of the festival programming and although steps have been taken to rectify it in recent years, it still far from a solved problem. When you have Crumb in front of you and the Bible as your subject, you shouldn’t waste time talking about Fritz the Cat, sexual obsessions, or the other cliches of Crumb’s career, and you sure shouldn’t allow the man to get away with his “I have no answer for you, I just did it that way”, especially not when there are openings to talk about his thoughts on faith or history as presented in the Old Testament.
§ Bart Beaty’s report suggests it was a hell of a show:
Here are the arguments of the “Yes” side: First, to put a festival on the last weekend of January is to defy the gods of weather — you should expect a little snow, and, besides, it always cleared up in the afternoon. Second, there were so many excellent books on display it is crazy to criticize the Festival on these grounds. Put it this way: Robert Crumb and Joe Sacco were here promoting two of the best books of recent memory and their offerings simply blended in. Comics are raising the bar so high that we risk becoming jaded to the presence of exceptional works in our midst. Third, it is true that none of the shows will be rhapsodized about at future events with a “you shoulda been here when…” tone, but the great exhibitions were thick on the ground: Neaud, Gerner, FRMK, Lecroart (comics made out of wood!), Fabio, did we mention Blutch? If you didn’t like this show, you were blind.
§ Bleeding Cool finds photographic evidence.